Covid-19: Travel Advice for Irish citizens in Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia
News16 March 2020
The situation regarding Covid-19 is a developing one and measures outlined below are subject to change. We advise checking latest regulations on the websites of the relevant authorities, which can be found below.
Please monitor the situation in Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia through the Embassy’s Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as local media and contact the Embassy at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific concerns.
If you are an Irish citizen abroad, register your contact details through our Citizens’ Registration system so that the Embassy will be able to contact you quickly in the event of any major developments that may affect you.
Please note that as of 16th March on, anyone arriving in Ireland from abroad (including Great Britain but not Northern Ireland) is obliged to restrict their movements for a period of 14 days. This applies to Irish citizens and residents as well as visitors. For further information and advice on travel to Ireland please click here.
Bulgaria declared a state of emergency due to Covid-19 on 13th March for a period initially up to 13th April and subsequently extended to 13th May. A further extension is possible. Under the state of emergency, the Bulgarian authorities have restricted travel to and from certain countries, both in terms of air travel and crossings at land borders. Furthermore, anyone arriving in Bulgaria is subject to mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days.
For the moment the Bulgarian authorities have not placed any specific restriction on arriving in Bulgaria from Ireland; however, due to airline routing and suspension of direct flights, there is no way to travel from Ireland to Bulfaria without transiting through a country that has been placed on the restricted travel list (i.e. Netherlands, Germany). No exception is made for transit through airports in a country that is on the restricted list, and the restrictions on entering Bulgaria are based on the place where the journey originates and not on citizenship.
This means that in effect anyone travelling from Ireland to Bulgaria is subject to the same conditions as anyone travelling from a restricted country: To enter Bulgaria she/he must be a) a Bulgarian citizen, b) a family member of a Bulgarian citizen, or c) holder of a Bulgarian residence permit. (Please note that the Bulgarian authorities have automatically extended by six months the validity of any permits expiring between 13th March and 31st October).
The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises its own citizens to refrain from travelling abroad unless absolutely necessary. Similarly, if you are resident in Bulgaria and wish to remain in Bulgaria over the coming period, you are advised NOT to travel outside the country.
- Irish citizens living in Bulgaria who wish to remain in Bulgaria during the coming period are advised to avoid travelling abroad.
- Irish citizens visiting Bulgaria who wish to return to Ireland (or another place of residence) over the coming period are advised to do so now.
Under Bulgaria’s state of emergency, food shops and pharmacies continue to operate with physical distancing protocols. Some non-essential shops/services are open under similar conditions. Only over-60s may visit shops between 8.30am and 10.30am. All entertainment and sports events have been cancelled and venues, including gyms, closed. Entrance to parks is allowed only to those walking a dog and maintaining proper physical distance from others. Restaurants and bars are also closed, with only some limited takeaway facilities allowed to operate. Internal travel within Bulgaria is restricted to those with documentation proving a legitimate, urgent need to move between cities. Further information on measures being taken in Bulgaria may be found on the website of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Bulgaria (BG).
In connection with the Covid-19 global pandemic, the government of Georgia declared a state of emergency on 21st March 2020. As of this date, all scheduled flights to and from Georgia have been suspended with permission only granted for a limited number of Georgian Airways and specially chartered repatriation flights.
- Irish citizens visiting/living in Georgia who wish to return to Ireland (or another place of residence) should contact us at email@example.com for information on how to enquire about bookings on the remaining available flights.
Further measures implemented in Georgia due to Covid-19 include closure of non-essential shops and services with only food shops, pharmacies and petrol stations remaining open, with some provision also for banking and insurance services. There are also certain internal travel restrictions. For up-to-date information on the situation in Georgia please visit StopCov.ge.
In connection with the spread of Covid-19, the government of the Republic of Armenia declared a state of emergency on 16th March. Entry into Armenia is allowed only for Armenian citizens and their non-citizen family members as well as people with residency in Armenia. There are extremely limited air connections between Yerevan and Europe via Minsk with Belavia.
- Irish citizens living in Armenia who wish to remain there during the coming period are advised to refrain from travelling abroad.
- Irish citizens visiting Armenia who wish to return to Ireland (or another place of residence) over the coming period are advised to do so now.
Further measures implemented in Armenia due to Covid-19 include closure of non-essential shops and services. Food shops and pharmacies remain open. Measures to restrict movement have been implemented, including a requirement for a self-declaration when leaving home. There are also restrictions on travel within the country. For up-to-date information on the situation in Armenia, please visit the websites of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.